2012 Blogging A to Z Challenge Reflections

Today, those of us who participated in the Blogging A to Z Challenge have been asked to reflect back on the challenge and offer our thoughts. I’ll bullet point the highlights and lowlights for me.

The Good

  • I never missed a day, always went live at 12:01 AM
  • Blogging every day exposed me to a huge number of new blog visitors
  • I visited many blogs I probably never would have otherwise visited–blogs on genealogy, the 80’s, children’s books, short story and poetry authors, writing and reading enthusiasts, knitting and quilting, wine-tasting, etc.
  • Never satisfied with my own blog, I loved looking at the artistic and functional aspects of others’ blogs. Those credits bloggers often have at the bottom of their blog pages? I click on those and visit the design geniuses behind them.
  • Many of my visitors subscribed to my blog, something I never pushed but was extremely thankful for.
  • The challenge coincided with my debut novel’s release so I was able to marry info about the book and its release with the challenge in what I hope wasn’t too obnoxious a manner (see cons section for the flip side of this).
  • The discipline of regular posting was reinforced.
  • My blog traffic was off the charts–more than double the traffic than in my previous highest month.
  • I met some wonderful new bloggers!!
  • WordPress’s (and Blogger’s) ability to schedule posts is awesome!
  • That widget that sent visitors to a new, random blog next was a fantastic idea…too bad WordPress dot com doesn’t allow javascript widgets or I’d have had one too.
  • Several bloggers really impressed me with their master plans for the month, posts that followed a uniform theme, vs. my hodge-podge approach.

The Less Good / Not Good

  • I was on vacation or out of town on business for a week and a half of April on two separate trips. I prepped ahead of time where I could but sometimes it was pretty hectic writing and prepping against a looming deadline.
  • I had manuscript edits unexpectedly arrive in my inbox, and they commanded time I’d have rather spent visiting blogs.
  • I did not visit nearly as many blogs as I’d have hoped or what was suggested.
  • Many of my blog posts were piggybacks of blog tour stops, basically reroutes of my traffic to others’ blogs.
  • I was sad whenever I clicked on a few links in the first few days only to find no A to Z posts at all. I guess they changed their minds about participating.
  • Sometimes the current day’s A to Z post was difficult to find on very busy blogs. (Suggest a separate A to Z blog page / tab with an index to the posts.)
  • Commenting on Blogger (vs. WordPress) posts has always challenging for this WordPress gal, and unfortunately, most of the A to Z’ers had Blogger blogs. I finally gave up and commented using my google account and a dummy Blogger blog I set up. This made commenting easier (Re-Captcha / Captcha issues aside which is a whole ‘nother gripe) but made linking back to my blog very indirect. Many I visited and read but didn’t bother commenting because of the hassle of it.
  • I wished there had been some sort of index categorizing the blogs. I’d hit one and think, “Oh, I think I’ll revisit that one again.” Only I never subscribed or wrote down the name. I usually only remembered the nature of the post I read and liked. I’d have sought out a few that were different from what I was used to reading if there had been some sort of guide like when we first signed up.
  • Because my debut novel released during the A to Z window (April 16th), I feel in my heart like I was a very selfish blogger, though in my head I know I did the best I could with the hours I had. I really did try to at least pay a return visit to all my visitors.
  • I wished I’d visited the A to Z Challenge blog more often than I did to read more about the goings on of the whole.

Would I do the Blogging A to Z Challenge again and more specifically, next year?

ABSOLUTELY!!!

Thank you to everyone who visited me either by landing here or via subscription (RSS or email or Networked blogs).

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7 thoughts on “2012 Blogging A to Z Challenge Reflections

  1. I think you did beautifully on your posts. I didn’t comment on all of them. But I subscribed to your blog via email, so I did at least get to see them all. I have to agree that I found quite a few blogs I wished I had followed. Some didn’t seem to have a way to follow though, and even if I bookmark them I find it hard to remember to always go back in a timely manner. (I absolutely love subscribing via email, then I get reminded of the things I otherwise forget! I think every blog should have that option)

    I also have to agree with the disappointment when I would click on a link and there would be no a to z posts. I understand that not everyone was able to commit to the posting, things come up, life happens, but I do wish that the links that weren’t participating had been removed, it would have made visiting the blogs that actually did participate much easier.

    Thanks again for participating or I wouldn’t have found your amazing blog!
    Good luck with your book!

    • Thanks, AimeeKay! You’re very kind. Next year I’ll do a better job setting up some RSS subscriptions in an A to Z folder so I can at least skim over them to see what’s going on. Live and learn eh?

  2. Excellent wrap up. I too. definitely planning to do it again next year and I loved that little widget. Wish it had been available earlier.

  3. Hi Claire
    Great reflection post.
    I did pop in during the A to Z, but didn’t leave a comment… actually I couldn’t leave a comment. Since my blog has been hosted by a new company and undergone some changes, I ‘ve been battling to post comments on wordpress blogs.*sighs* I really don’t know why! To cut a long story short, I have to log in and post via Facebook!
    So if you see a “A to Z stalker” that’s probably me, playing catch-up!

    • Hi Michelle! Stalk away. I read a lot more than I comment on, especially on Blogger blogs. I hope you get your WP blog straightened out. That’s maddening. Thanks for the visit!

  4. I’m finding this reflections linky list just as annoying. Even though people were asked to only link to their one subject, I’ve visited 60 blogs without any participation at all. Apart from that, I’m gald I joined. You can’t make anybody conform. Hehe.

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